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Us Will Advise Citizens To Be Vigilant In Europe


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http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2010/10/03/us_will_advise_citizens_to_be_vigilant_in_europe/?rss_id=Boston.com+%2F+Boston+Globe+--+National+News

 

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will warn US citizens to be vigilant as they travel in Europe, updated guidance prompted by Al Qaeda threats, American and European officials said yesterday.

 

Such a move could have negative implications for European tourism, business, and diplomacy if travelers fear there’s a possibility of terror attacks.

 

Euro police aren't vigilant? American travelers can actually avoid a terror attack by being vigilant (i.e. paranoid)?

 

It's crap like this that has American's totally out of touch with reality compared to the rest of the world.

 

The only possible purpose for these kinds of warnings, yellow alerts, et al, is to change political focus from gaffes and to make American's mailable and accepting of adverse policies such as intrusions into their privacy and a fucked up, overbloated foreign policy effort.

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Probably just some 1984 scare tactics but we'll see.

 

It's nothing new. Travel advisories like this have been used for 10 years now.

 

Bottom line, there is absolutely nothing a tourist can do to avoid an overseas terror attack should one occur. Thus it's not hard to conclude there is another purpose for these warnings.

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Probably just some 1984 scare tactics but we'll see.

 

It's nothing new. Travel advisories like this have been used for 10 years now.

 

Bottom line, there is absolutely nothing a tourist can do to avoid an overseas terror attack should one occur. Thus it's not hard to conclude there is another purpose for these warnings.

Well, that is not entirely true. At least not if you get some training on what to look for and how to best protect yourself. The thing is to notice something awry before it happens. But in general, you are correct. Most people don't have any inkling of the sort of things they should be on the lookout for or tell-tale clues.

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As an American living in Europe, working for the US government, I can say these alerts come to us along with guidelines for what to watch for and what to do to handle any suspicious activity. They don't advise us to be paranoid. There are specific things to keep an eye out for, the things that always lead up to an attack. Of course we can't prevent all attacks, but lives can be saved if more people are aware and know what to do.

 

We also get updates on local organized protests so we can avoid walking into a hostile situation.

 

I personally dislike the fear machine that is US politics, but *this* is not that. The media might blow it out of proportion, but we get very logical, practical advice in one email, not a series of "be afraid" crap.

 

The warning is also not trying to indicate that Euro police are not vigilant. The more vigilant eyes out there, the better. Safety is everyone's responsibility.

 

It would be irresponsible for the US government NOT to issue a warning when they know there's terrorist activity in a region. Wouldn't it?

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I'm going to have to disagree. This is exactly that. First of all, what makes Europe more dangerous than the US? I've lived in Italy and have now lived in Russia for 6 years so I'm not completely oblivious to what goes on over here. Quite frankly, cities like DC, where I have also lived, offer greater threats to people than just about anywhere in Europe. Terrorism can strike anywhere at any time. Muggings and worse happen in cities like DC all the time.

 

Bottom line, there isn't much reason to air a warning like this other than to fear monger and this comes in the form of a WH/State Dpt press release, so I don't see how the press is blowing anything out of proportion here, but rather the WH is.

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On a day to day basis, nothing makes a city in Europe more dangerous than a city in the US. Did I miss where they said that in the briefing?

 

I think you're reading a lot more into this than what's there.

 

I also think I have the right to know when intelligence suggests that there is ramped up terrorist activity in my area, or in an area normally considered safe for travel. I would be pissed off if the US knew and didn't alert us. But then I am American, so I'm sure I have an American viewpoint regarding what I have a right to know. I suppose some cultures would accept their government knowing about terrorist activity and not warning citizens. I don't understand that, but like I said, I know I have an American world view.

 

I do agree with Burnedout that it could be a warning to the targeted groups that they're watching.

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At some point people need to call it crying wolf. How many of these threats have people been subjected to in 10 years?

 

In a vacuum I would agree with you. However, from what I can gather, there has been a vast swing toward fear and distrust and even hatred toward all things Muslim in America to the point I would call it xenophobic. The government constantly keeping the subject in front of everyone is, IMO, directly correlated to the government's handling of the issue through the media et al.

 

I've pointed out in other threads that here in Russia, where the terror threat is probably more extreme than in the US, the government has not taken this same approach and as a result people go about their business, while the police stay vigilant and no wide-spread xenophobia has emerged.

 

Moreover, there has been a vast shifting of rights, which has continued under the new administration. People by and large are accepting of this erosion of their rights because their fears outweigh their desire for freedom and privacy.

 

So to borrow from another metaphor, the government is playing chicken little here. If the terror threat were a little higher up the list on the actuarial tables than getting hit by lightening then they might logically justify the fear mongering, but until they engage in a concerted effort to warn people against jay walking and the threat of too much salt in their diet, two risk factors that weigh much, much higher on the actuarial tables and two factors that people actually have the capacity to avert by their actions, I'm going to call bullshit on this one. IMHO :D

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As an American living in Europe, working for the US government, I can say these alerts come to us along with guidelines for what to watch for and what to do to handle any suspicious activity. They don't advise us to be paranoid. There are specific things to keep an eye out for, the things that always lead up to an attack. Of course we can't prevent all attacks, but lives can be saved if more people are aware and know what to do.

 

We also get updates on local organized protests so we can avoid walking into a hostile situation.

 

I personally dislike the fear machine that is US politics, but *this* is not that. The media might blow it out of proportion, but we get very logical, practical advice in one email, not a series of "be afraid" crap.

 

The warning is also not trying to indicate that Euro police are not vigilant. The more vigilant eyes out there, the better. Safety is everyone's responsibility.

 

It would be irresponsible for the US government NOT to issue a warning when they know there's terrorist activity in a region. Wouldn't it?

 

You're getting actual information whilst the average American traveling abroad isn't provided anything at all except years of fear indoctrination (the Muslims are gonna get ya). It is beyond disgusting and reprehensible what the U.S. government is doing.

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My extremely limited travel experience in Europe (Paris and northern France) suggests to me that Europeans are a lot more vigilant. I have never seen any other city that had pairs of soldiers wandering through the metro with fully-automatic weapons (MP5s or something like it). I also must have gone through like 5 x-ray scanners just to get into the Louvre.

 

I guess this warning is trying to help Americans feel safe abroad, and to feel like they're "helping" but I'm pretty sure the Europeans have got their security shit together.

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As an American traveling abroad, I'd still want to know if there's heightened terrorist activity in any given area. You can go conspiracy theory all you want, but I'd rather be informed. BTW, I think giving in to the conspiracy stuff is as bad as giving into the Muslims-are-gonna-get-ya stuff. They are both extremes. IMHO

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Bottom line, there isn't much reason to air a warning like this other than to fear monger and this comes in the form of a WH/State Dpt press release, so I don't see how the press is blowing anything out of proportion here, but rather the WH is.

And why does the White House always issue fear mongering warnings like this during election time?
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You can go conspiracy theory all you want, but I'd rather be informed. BTW, I think giving in to the conspiracy stuff is as bad as giving into the Muslims-are-gonna-get-ya stuff. They are both extremes. IMHO

 

I fail to see how pointing out the obvious makes one a conspiracy theorist. I proposed no cloak and dagger here.

 

Are rights being eroded? Yes

 

Has the government consistantly and periodically issued these kind of warnings, not just by updating the State Department website, but via widespread, press releases that hit prime time? Yes

 

Do these alerts have any other effect than to raise the public's fears and zero effect on making the public safer? Yes

 

Moreover, the government has already openly and unarguably used the terror threat as a way to get public support for its actions. The government straight up told us that Saddam Hussein had connections with Al Quida even though it was blatantly false and known by them to be false and let the public believe that Iraq was directly responsible for 9/11. So how exactly am I being a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist when I make the assumption based on available evidence that they might just be continuing to do what they have been doing for a long time?

 

As an American traveling abroad, I'd still want to know if there's heightened terrorist activity in any given area.

 

They might as well warn you of a potential lightening strike because statistically you have a better chance of getting struck by it.

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You're not taking a lot of facts into consideration in making your conclusions, like the fact that the US gov't is simply not united enough to operate in the way you're proposing... but I don't want to argue anymore. I thought I could offer a bit of US employee insight, that's all. Goodnight.

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I love it how your called a conspiracy theory just because you say something someone disagrees with regards to government policies. The fact is, there is a terrorist threat yes, the same in Europe as it is in america. Certainly there may be more muslims in Europe, but there are Christians here who are terrorists.

 

The government DOES fearmonger about the threat level and tends to overemphasize what is and has been a threat everywhere. They've been doing it to erode our liberties and justify their policies. That's no conspiracy theory. They do it with the consent of the people they're trying to protect. No theory necessary. Nor conspiracy.

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You're not taking a lot of facts into consideration in making your conclusions, like the fact that the US gov't is simply not united enough to operate in the way you're proposing... but I don't want to argue anymore. I thought I could offer a bit of US employee insight, that's all. Goodnight.

 

They aren't united enough to submit press releases? C'mon.

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Kind of like how students hiding under their desks will shield them from a nuke.

It would help depending on the distance from the blast. Obiously too close and you are toast, but if you are enough away, ducking could avoid flying glass from windows, flash heat damage, ect.

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You're not taking a lot of facts into consideration in making your conclusions, like the fact that the US gov't is simply not united enough to operate in the way you're proposing... but I don't want to argue anymore. I thought I could offer a bit of US employee insight, that's all. Goodnight.

 

They aren't united enough to submit press releases? C'mon.

 

 

Oh, I thought you were saying there was more to it than just a press release. Nevermind, then.

 

 

To everyone offended by my conspiracy theory comment, I meant no harm. One does not have to be "wild eyed" to think there's a conspiracy ( a surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons, according to dictionary.com), imo. I wasn't trying to insult. You call it "making an assumption", I call it a theory. It's semantics. Honestly not trying to offend.

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Kind of like how students hiding under their desks will shield them from a nuke.

 

Reminds me of Tyler Durden's explanation of why airplanes have oxygen masks - to put passengers in a relaxed state before they die.

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To everyone offended by my conspiracy theory comment, I meant no harm. One does not have to be "wild eyed" to think there's a conspiracy ( a surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons, according to dictionary.com), imo. I wasn't trying to insult. You call it "making an assumption", I call it a theory. It's semantics. Honestly not trying to offend.

 

No worries. I'm simply concerned with what has clearly been an erosion of rights and a growing xenophobia. I don't think these press releases help matters any as they create an environment of fear which politicians have exploited. I doubt there is a grand plan afoot though. :D

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But then, if I were a conspiracy theorist, this would sure raise my eyebrows. At the very least, it shows the government is open and willing to manipulating people's emotions:

 

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/news-stations-training-psyops-soldiers/

 

Local news stations training psychological ops soldiers: report

 

By Daniel Tencer

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010 -- 8:08 pm

 

 

pentagon2 Local news stations training psychological ops soldiers: report

 

Two CBS affiliates have been helping train US Army psychological operations soldiers, says an investigative report at Yahoo! News.

 

According to documents obtained by John Cook through a freedom of information request, WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina, and WTOC in Savannah, Georgia, have both hosted psyops soldiers as part of the Army's Training With Industry program.

 

The soldiers "used WRAL and WTOC to learn broadcasting and communications expertise that they could apply in their mission, as the Army describes it, of 'influenc[ing] the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign audiences,'" the report states. The arrangement reaches back at least to 2001.

 

It is yet more evidence of an increasingly cooperative relationship between the US military and news media, that has led some media critics to question whether news organizations are becoming tools of military policy.

 

Cook reports that Raleigh's WRAL says it hasn't hosted a psyops soldier since 2007, but WTOC in Savannah currently has a psyops trainee in the newsroom.

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To everyone offended by my conspiracy theory comment, I meant no harm. One does not have to be "wild eyed" to think there's a conspiracy ( a surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons, according to dictionary.com), imo. I wasn't trying to insult. You call it "making an assumption", I call it a theory. It's semantics. Honestly not trying to offend.

 

No worries. I'm simply concerned with what has clearly been an erosion of rights and a growing xenophobia. I don't think these press releases help matters any as they create an environment of fear which politicians have exploited. I doubt there is a grand plan afoot though. :D

 

I have to agree about the growing xenophobia in the U.S. I'd like to point out that it's not all of us, and some of us are trying to actively combat the anti-Muslim crap. I suppose there are nutters in every country; unfortunately the nutters in the U.S. are very vocal (and they make for great tv!), which makes us all look bad.

 

Interesting psyops article. For many years the U.S. has not cared enough about how we're perceived overseas, what a pendulum swing.

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